print   go back

RAMP Application

School Information

Our school has received the RAMP designation previously and is applying to Re-Ramp: No
Have you or another counselor(s) in your school received formal, in person training or coaching on the ASCA National Model or RAMP in the past two years?:
Does your school receive funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program?: No
School Name: Ferguson Elementary
School Address: 1755 Centerview Drive Duluth , 30096
School District Name: Gwinnett County Public Schools
School Twitter Handle: @fergusongcps
School year RAMP application represents: 2016-2017
Number of students in district: 177728
Grade Category: k12
Grade levels served at school: K-5
Number of students at school: 923
Number of certified staff at school: 77
Number of Full-time school counselors at school: 2
Number of Part-time school counselors at school: 0
Average number of students served by each school counselor: 462
School setting: Suburban
Percentage of students identified as special education students: 11
Percentage of students who receive free or reduced lunch: 83

Percent Black: 31
Percent Hispanic: 59
Percent White: 3
Percent Native American: 0
Percent Asian: 5
Percent Other: 2

Names of other school counselors at school:


Names of other personnel:


Written Portions and File Attachments

1. Vision Statement
School Counseling Program Vision Statement:
Through participation in the Ferguson Elementary Comprehensive School Counseling Programs, students develop the academic knowledge and skills and social awareness necessary to excel in college and careers. Our students are the life-long learners, advocates, problem solvers, trailblazers, and critical thinkers of tomorrow. They possess cultural awareness of themselves and others and celebrate diversity, helping them reach success on a global scale. As world-class citizens, our students will work to make the world a better place through their leadership endeavors.

School Counseling Program Beliefs:
1. All students can learn, achieve and be successful.
2. All students have worth and should be treated with dignity and respect.
3. All students should have equitable access to core curriculum lessons and counseling services.
4. Professional school counselors work as advocates to remove barriers to learning.
5. All students have the right to participate in a developmentally appropriate comprehensive school counseling program.
6. The professional school counselors will advocate for all students.
7. The school counseling program should be designed and delivered by a certified professional school counselor.
8. The counseling program will be planned, evaluated and refined according to school wide data and a result based evaluation system.
9. Ferguson school counselors abide by the American School Counseling Association code of ethics.
10. Ferguson Elementary Professional school counselors develop student leaders who have a passion for lifelong learning and are college and career ready.
11. Ferguson school counselors participate in meaningful staff development at the local, district, state, and/or national levels in order to maintain their skills
12. Parents play an integral role in their child’s education and should be included in all educational decisions.
13. Professional school counselors collaborate with all members of faculty, staff to ensure

School Vision Statement:
Ferguson Elementary will be a world-class school of dreams that fosters an entire community of life-long learners and problem solvers striving for academic excellence and social and emotional growth.


District Vision Statement:
Gwinnett County Public Schools will become a system of world-class schools where students acquire the knowledge and skills to be successful as they continue their education at the post-secondary level and/or enter the workforce.


Narrative: During Ferguson Elementary’s charter school year, 2010-2011, the Ferguson Elementary counseling department which was comprised of three professional school counselors crafted a vision statement along with program belief statements. It was important to all three counselors that the belief statements address student’s dignity and worth, student achievement, and the belief that all students are capable of learning and being successful. Another common theme that arose was the belief that all students should have access to a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate counseling program that is delivered by certified professional school counselors who advocate for all students and their profession. All three counselors agreed that it was important to participate in professional staff development at the county, state, and national level as well as being bound by the American School Counseling Association’s code of ethic. The use of school wide data to plan, evaluate, and revise the counseling program was a driving force in the development of the Ferguson Elementary Counseling Department therefore all three counselors felt strongly it should be addressed in the belief statements.
The Ferguson Elementary Counseling department’s vision statement was modeled after Gwinnett County Public Schools ‘and Ferguson Elementary’s vision statements. We listen to the voices of our teachers, community members, students, parents, and administrators by attending grade level meetings; title one parent meetings, faculty meetings, and counseling advisory council meeting. In addition our own sense of purpose and beliefs guided the creation of our vision statement. There have been many changes in personnel as well as changes in the needs of our student population. That includes changes in their counseling department one counselor retired, two transferred. Therefore it is especially important to keep our vision statement current through annual reviews, revision, edits. In order to best serve the needs of our students, the Ferguson Elementary Counseling Department’s guiding principles must also evolve as the needs of our students and our surrounding community change.
Our 2014 revision, added a statement addressing student learner who become leaders in their community and are college and career ready. This belief was influenced by the state of Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) which is used in evaluating all Georgia schools. Both professional school counselors felt strongly that parents play a vital role in their child’s education and drive all educational decision; therefore, a belief statement addressing parent involvement was added.
Our most recent revision, August 2016, occurred after the addition of a new counselor. Both counselors reviewed the department, school, and county vision statements, and worked to ensure that this revision aligned better with the county and school vision as well as the beliefs of both counselors. Leadership and diversity were important values to both counselors to include in the vision statement. The vocabulary and flow of the vision statement was also altered to better fit the new student population, which was a result of redistricting in 2015.
The core belief of the counseling program at Ferguson Elementary School is that each child learns in their own unique way and we need to differentiate our counseling program to meet their needs. We have a diverse set of learners and it is our purpose to ensure each learner is supported in order to reach her or his true potential. Students will begin to recognize their strengths and gifts through programs, core curriculum lessons, small group counseling, and individual counseling sessions which are designed using school data, goal setting, evaluations, and data analysis. We understand the importance of involving community members, parents, teachers, and administrators in the efforts to meet the needs of our students and actively solicit the voices of our stakeholders through the Ferguson Elementary Counseling department advisory council.

Attached Files:
2. Mission Statement:
School Mission Statement: The mission of Ferguson Elementary is to achieve excellence in academic knowledge and skills that promotes the well-being of the whole child resulting in measured improvement against local, national and world-class standards.

School Counseling Mission Statement: The mission of the Ferguson Elementary School Counseling Department is to provide all students with equal access to comprehensive and developmentally appropriate counseling services which promote equity in achievement. Students will be taught to treat others with fairness, justice and respect in order to be successful world –class citizen and future leaders. Students will focus on their academic, career, and personal/social growth which promotes the well-being of the whole child. Ferguson Elementary students will acquire the academic knowledge and skills through differentiate instruction to be successful lifelong learners. Through a partnership with students, educators, parents, and community members our students will be college and career ready and able to compete in a global economy.

Narrative:
The development of the mission statement for the Ferguson Elementary Counseling Department was a collaborative effort that started during the school’s charter year, 2010-2011. At that time, three professional school counselors served Ferguson Elementary and were assigned the task of building a comprehensive, developmental appropriate school counseling program. Many counseling department meets were held to discuss the role of the school counselor and how to best address the needs of our student population through core curriculum lessons, small group counseling, individual counseling, and counseling programs. It was important to the counselors that all students have access to a professional school counselor in order to ensure each student is a successful lifelong learner who is college and career ready with a focus on the well-being of the whole child. In identifying the student population of Ferguson Elementary, the counselors felt it was important to expose our students to all post-secondary options in order for them to make informed decisions about their future. In fall of 2010, after laying the foundation for the counseling program, a mission statement was crafted. It was the belief of the professional school counselors at Ferguson Elementary that the mission statement should serve as a guide to aide in the continual development of a comprehensive school counseling program which addressed the priorities of the counseling department while ensuring that the needs of our diverse student population were being met.
Ferguson Elementary professional school counselors collaborated with various stakeholders such as teachers, parents, community members, counseling advisory council, and administrators seeking input and feedback on school counseling program and mission statement. Careful attention was paid to ensure our mission statement the addressed all the needs of our students. The mission statement of the Ferguson Elementary counseling department is created in alignment with the school’s mission statement which promotes the well-being of the whole child resulting in measured improvement against not only local, but world-class standards. In correlation with the Gwinnett County Public School’s mission statement, our students will be prepared to excel in a global economy.
Over the last six years, the Ferguson Elementary student population has continually changed as new students enroll and students withdrawal. In 2015, Ferguson Elementary was part of a redistricting process that changed the student population and the demographic makeup of the school. These student body changes have led to the need to revise and edit the mission statement on a yearly basis to ensure that it continues to address the needs of our current student population.
In August 2016, a new professional school counselor joined the counseling team which promoted an in-depth review of the mission statement. The counseling team met over the summer and again during the first few weeks of school to discuss their vision for the counseling program as well how to ensure the mission statement best represented values of our school. Input from faculty, staff, administration, and stokeholds was gathered during grade level meetings, summer leadership retreat, faculty meetings, title one parent meetings as well as the counseling advisory council meeting and used to update the mission statement. It was important to both counselors that our mission statement addresses the well-being of the whole child. Making sure our counseling program addresses a student’s academic performance, social and emotional health and their behavior at school . Since these philosophies, are part of our school’s mission statement. Therefore, our counseling curriculum focuses on common language which empowers students to be allies who stand up for other against bullies. This can be seen in our school wide behavior PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) program as well as our school being a “No Place for hate school. Both of these counseling programs, help address the well-being of the whole child as is reflected in both the school and counselling department’s mission statement.
A few revisions to the mission statement were made but overall both school counselors felt the mission statement reflected the needs of our student population, provided a framework for continued student success, and aligned with both Ferguson Elementary and Gwinnett County Public School’s mission statements. After revising our mission statement we presented it to the administrative team, our advisory council then we posted our mission statement on the counseling department website. Our mission statement serves in guiding the continual development of a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate school counseling program along with our program planning.

Attached Files:
  • district mission statement ferguson elementary View | Download

3. School Counseling Program Goals:

Goal 1:
1. By May 24, 2017, the number of Hispanic students (32) who accrued 15 or more absences will decrease by 10%.

  • Academic Achievement
  • Dropout Prevention
  • Parent/Family Collaboration
  • Attendance
Goal 2:
By May 24, 2015, the number of African American Students (34) with discipline referrals will decrease by 10 %.

  • Anger Management
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Bullying
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Group Counseling
  • PBIS/MTSS
Goal 3:
By May 24, 2017, the number of 4th, and 5th grade students(30) who made a D or U semester average in Math will improve their math grade by at least one letter grade.

  • Academic Achievement
  • College Readiness
  • Group Counseling

Narrative:
On July 14th and 15th the Ferguson Elementary Counseling Department met to start planning for the 2016-2017 school-year. Part of this planning process was for the counselors to get to know each other and their philosophies and beliefs on being a professional school counselor. Another aspect of the meeting was to review school-wide attendance, achievement, and behavior data so we could start to form program goals for the 2016-2017 school year. On July 22nd the School's Leadership Team met and reviewed school-wide data to identify areas of concern. During that meeting the leadership team did an in-depth analysis of the Local School Improvement Plan (LSIP), which includes both an annual goal and a five-year goal. The Ferguson Elementary Counseling Department met during pre-planning week, using the comments and suggestions of the Leadership Team, in addition to school-wide data and the LSIP, to develop our programs goals for the 2016-2017 school year.
Since the first goal of both the five-year and annual LSIP includes academics, behavior, and attendance, the counselors felt it was critical to develop programs goals that addressed those areas. After reviewing the 2015-2016 attendance data counselors identified 74% of students who missed 15 or more days of school were Hispanic, and Hispanics make up only 58% of the student body. This revealed a gap between the number of Hispanic students missing 15 or more days of school. The 2015-2016 discipline data showed 34 African American students received a discipline referral, accounting for 65% of total referrals, when only 32% of the student body population is African American. In accordance with our school wide Math focus, which include state promotion requirements for 4th and 5th grade, as well as LSIP goal one, we chose to focus program goal three on 4th and 5th grade students who earned a D or U semester average in Math because they did not show mastery of the subject and skills measured by their grades.
Program goal one addresses attendance and focuses on reducing the number of Hispanic students with 15 or more absences. Ferguson Counselors taught core curriculum lessons during September focusing on attendance and held morning checks. Parents of Hispanic students with 15 or more absences were invited to attend a parent workshop presented by the school social worker. Ferguson Counselors, along with the school social worker, held SARC meetings to review and assess the student's attendance. Program goal one supports student learning by encouraging students to be at school on a daily basis.
Program goal two focuses discipline referrals received by African American students at Ferguson Elementary. When reviewing data from the 2015-2016 school year, it became apparent that a higher number of African American students (34) received referrals versus Hispanic students (15). This goal addresses inequalities found in discipline referrals as well as student learning. When students are suspended from school, they are not in the classroom to learn. Ferguson Counselors focused on the behavior of African American students by teaching core curriculum lessons in small groups during the month of October as part of the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) program.
The third goal for the Ferguson Elementary Department focuses on closing the gap between 4th and 5th grade students who earned a D or U semester average in Math during the 2015-2016 school year. Math is a school-wide focus at Ferguson Elementary with an extra 30 minute called CQI. LSPI goal one addresses both mastery of Math Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) which is measured by Math grades, which is why Math grades were analyzed and chosen as the best measure for program goal three. This goal addresses student learning and will allow Ferguson Elementary Counselors to cover topics such as study skills and test taking strategies through small groups as well as core curriculum lessons.

Supplemental Documents:
4. ASCA Student Standards Competencies and Indicators OR ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success:

Attached Files:
  • ferguson elementary mindsets and behaviors planning tool View | Download
Narrative:
The Ferguson Elementary Counseling Department met in July to start planning for the 2016-2017 school year. One of our tasks was to plan our yearly calendar, which included our core curriculum lesson topics. A great deal of thought went into the process of planning grade appropriate core curriculum lessons that aligned with the standards and competencies that are set forth by the Gwinnett County Board of Education, American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Mindsets and Behaviors, Gwinnett County’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS), the State of Georgia Department of Education’s “List of Values and Character Education,” and Quality Core Curriculum. Gwinnett County’s Office of Advisement and Counseling (GCOAC) has established a committee that works diligently each year to ensure the county standards and competencies and mindsets and behaviors are current. This GCOAC has developed a Standards and Competencies cross-walking tool to aid counseling programs as they develop a plan to ensure all Mindsets and Behaviors and board Standards and Competencies are addressed, which is reviewed yearly. The cross-walking tools aids in making sure all mindsets and behaviors, as well as county and state standards and competencies, are addressed through age-appropriate interventions such as core curriculum lessons, small groups, closing-the-gap activities, or school wide activities.
As new programs goals are identified each year, it is necessary to add new mindsets and behaviors to ensure we are teaching appropriate core curriculum lessons or offering the appropriate small groups. For example, program goal one for the 2016-2017 school year addressed attendance, more specifically number of Hispanic students that missed 15 or more days of school. We added mindsets and behaviors BS:SMS 4, BS.SMS10, and M:3, that were not listed on the crossing walking tool, in the academic domain to ensure we addressed the importance of coming to school on a daily basis. The State of Georgia mandates that career clusters are taught to grades first through fifth via the BRIDGE Act House Bill 400 passed on May 20, 2010. Along with the career clusters, each fifth grade student is required to complete a career portfolio project which included a technology presentation piece. Mindset and Behavior BS:LS:5, that was not listed on the county’s crossing walking tool, addressing applying media and technology skills was added.
The ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors also help to guide our small groups. The Mindsets and Behaviors and GCPS AKS are reviewed before beginning small groups, and based on the data, the counselors select the Mindsets and Behaviors and AKS standards to be addressed. The counselors will add a mindset or behavior if needed, even if it does not align with a county standard or competency. For example, the counseling department added BS:LS:2 to our small groups because we encourage creativity and expressive arts in our small group meetings. Expressive arts are developmentally appropriate for elementary students and help to actively engage students in the topic being discussed.
Throughout the year, mindsets and behaviors are reviewed and revised through department meetings, county counseling meetings, counseling advisory council, and leadership team meetings to ensure our students’ needs are being met and that all mindsets and behaviors are being addressed through our program. Our core curriculum lessons and small group schedule, along with the list of school wide programs is also revised throughout the year. This allows the professional school counselors at Ferguson Elementary to develop and maintain a comprehensive school counseling program in which our students’ needs are always a priority while addressing all state and county mandated topics. An example of this can be seen on our core curriculum action plan. The core curriculum lessons taught during the month of November focused on personal safety which is mandated by the Gwinnett County Board of Education. The standards and competencies which needed to be addressed were included in the Gwinnett County cross-walking tool and linked to the appropriate mindsets and behaviors. A second example is the core curriculum career lessons taught during the months of January and February. All public schools in the state of Georgia are required to deliver career focused lessons aligned with 17 career clusters and standards and competencies listed on the GCPS cross-walking tool. The career clusters and the standards and competencies they address are approved by both the state of Georgia board of education and the GCPS board of education. The GCPS cross-walking tool serves as a check list to ensure all standards and competencies are addressed yearly and meet the needs of our ever-changing and diverse population.

Supplemental Documents:
  • gcps cross walking tool with mindsets and behaviors ferguson elementary View | Download

5. Annual Agreement:

Attached Files:Narrative:
The Annual Agreement of the Ferguson Elementary Counseling Department was developed during July and August of 2016. First, the counseling department held a meeting during summer leadership where input from teachers, staff and administrators was gathered from all grade levels. Academics, demographics, attendance, and behavioral data was analyzed and used to drive the discussion for counseling department programs. Program selection was also based on the needs of our largely economically disadvantaged population and our largely limited English-proficient student population.
During the July meeting the counselors decided how to delegate duties based on counselor interest and expertise. Ms. Ferguson is responsible for supporting the Dartha B. Ferguson Foundation, No Place For Hate, Care Team, Student Council, PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support), Principal's Elite Club, New Student Orientation and the Nothing But The Truth weekly food bag partnership. Ms. Danish is responsible for the Dream Makers Mentoring Program, the Counseling Department Website, Red Ribbon Week, Career Day, School Wide Attendance, Hands Are Not For Hitting, and the Care Team. Ms. Ferguson serves 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, while Ms. Danish serves kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd. This caseload grouping helps us work closely with two of our three assistant principals, allowing us to anticipate the needs of our grade level and work to the strengths of our administrators.
A plan for how to address the three program goals for the 2016-2017 school year was also developed in August through Counseling Department meetings. Program goal one focuses on attendance and will be monitored by both counselors through morning check-ins, weekly meetings with our social worker, SARC (Student Attendance Review Committee) meetings, and core curriculum lessons. Program goal two focuses on behavior, therefore both counselors will work on this goal through individual counseling, small group counseling, and core curriculum lessons. Program goal three addresses 4th and 5th grade academics. Ms. Ferguson will address this goal through core curriculum lessons and small groups, while Ms. Danish will assist with small additional groups.
The second step in developing the annual agreement was to analyze the counselor portal data. Gwinnett County Public Schools requires all professional school counselors to account for their time on a daily basis using the counselor's portal. The portal data allowed the counseling department to see exactly how time was spent during the 2015-2016 school year and to project time allotments for the 2016-2017 year. The 2015-2016 portal date showed counselors spent 74% of their time in direct and indirect service to their students and 26% of time was spent on program planning and school support. There were several reasons why the 80/20 time split was not reached during the 2015-2016 school year: car rider and afternoon bus duty, testing responsibilities, leadership, faculty, and administrative meetings, local school staff development, program planning and support, as well as the transition from two full-time counselors to one full-time and one part-time counselor. We are hopeful that with the change back to two full-time counselors we will be able to meet the ideal time split. Portal data projections on time allotments were then incorporated into the annual agreement.
The third step in developing the annual agreement was a meeting with the school principal which took place in August. During this meeting school wide data and portal data were shared with the principal. The principal was able to share her vision and expectations for the counseling department, as well as offer information on school and county level initiatives, advice on program offerings, and dividing duties and responsibilities. The counselors were able to share their concerns about being on the Specials Rotation for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades, and how this may affect the services provided. After the meeting, the counseling department was able to incorporate the principal's feedback into the annual agreement before it was finalized.
Developing our annual agreement was a simple task due to the nature of our school and county. Our principal is supportive of our program and checks in monthly for "Counselor Chats" so she is apprised of our services and can support when needed. Additionally, GCPS has developed its own version of the ASCA Annual Agreement, which is called a "Partnership Agreement". The word partnership was chosen because GCPS feels that the unique relationship between administrators and counselors is truly a collaborative effort.

6. Advisory Council:

Attached Files:
  • advisory council minutes fall 2016 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • advisory council invitation ramp presentation fall 2017 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • advisory council sign in sheets ramp presentation fall 2017 View | Download
  • advisory council powerpoint ramp presentation fall 2017 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • advisory council agenda ramp presentation fall 2017 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • advisory council sign in sheets fall 2016 and spring 2017 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • advisory council powerpoint spring 2017 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • advisory council agenda spring 2017 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • advisory council minutes spring 2017 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • advisory council powerpoint fall 2016 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • advisory council agenda fall 2016 ferguson elementary View | Download
Advisory Council Members and Stakeholder Positions:
1. Dr. Angelique Mitchell –Principal
2. Mrs. Louise Radloff –School Board Member
3. Ms. Pam Hartley-Assistant Principal
4. Mrs. Nancy Burnett-Business Partner
5. Mrs. Tami Cash-Math Teacher
6. Ms. Pam Conley -5th Grade Teacher
7. Ms. Lauren Danish–Professional School Counselor
8. Ms. Cortina Harris –Principal Intern
9. Ms. Sherry Ferguson-Professional School Counselor
10. Mrs. Cindy Forrest-4th Grade Teacher
11. Mrs. Kathryn Hancock-Instruction Coach and Teacher of the Year
12. Mrs. Rasheedra Nelson –Parent
13. Mrs. Marycelis Otero-School Nurse
14. Mrs. Ashley Payne-Parent
15. Mrs. Leanette Spencer –Media Specialist
16. Deputy Curtis Spratt-Gwinnett County Sheriff

Narrative:
In alignment with the ASCA National Model recommendations as well as our own goal of involving all stakeholders who play a vital role in ensuring that our students’ needs are met, the professional school counselors decided the advisory council would include teachers, parents, community members, and administration. Each year, the professional school counselors ask for volunteers from each of these groups. Many of the teachers who serve on the advisory council have remained consistent and provided a high level of support and enthusiasm, throughout the seven years Ferguson Elementary has been open.
Our 2016-2017 advisory council is comprised of school leaders, parents, business partners, community members, and a school board member. We are grateful to have representatives from both upper and lower grades, with two teachers from upper grades and our 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year who currently serves as our K-1 Academic Coach. We are also proud to have a member from our Special Areas team, Media Specialist, School Nurse, one of our assistant principals and our principal because they bring diverse expertise and experience to our council. We have upper and lower grade parents serving on our council as well. Our lower grade parent is also a third grade teacher, so her input is two-fold. Our upper grade parent is currently an assistant principal at Ferguson’s districted middle school. She was also a former professional school counselor who was a semi-finalist for state counselor of the year. Her presence allows us to see how our program aligns vertically with the middle school. One community member is an employee at one of our school’s valued business partners and is the contact for our community-based mentoring program, Dream Makers. We also have a sheriff’s deputy, with a valuable perspective. Our last member is a Gwinnet County Board of Education member, who provides a unique perspective to our council discussions. Each member is able to provide a different perspective, which helps us best serve the needs our students by implementing a comprehensive and responsive counseling program.
The Advisory Council meets twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring. The purpose, rules and responsibilities of the advisory council are reviewed and explained during the Fall meeting. This meeting also provides the professional school counselors with the opportunity to review school wide data and previous year counselor portal data, share mission and vision statements, and present year program goals as well as counseling department programs for the year. During the Fall 2016 advisory council meeting, the professional school counselors shared that counseling department programs would include No Place for Hate, Student Ambassadors, Dream Markers mentoring program, Food Bag/Happy Sacks program, Red Ribbon Week, Great Days of Service, Dartha B. Ferguson Foundation, PBIS (Positive Behavior, Intervention, and Support) program , and Care Team. Information on attendance, academic, and behavior data from the previous school year was also shared. Sharing school wide data on a variety of topics allows the advisory council to provide feedback and suggestions that will have a direct impact on student success at Ferguson Elementary. Included in the advisory council meeting minutes are feedback and recommendations made at each meeting and how the Ferguson Elementary counseling department has addressed the feedback and incorporated recommendations into the counseling department.
In the Spring, during the Advisory Council’s end of year meeting, it is always exciting to review program goals, share results and plan for the upcoming year. Data collected during core curriculum lessons and in small groups is shared. This data allows advisory council members the opportunity to analyze different aspects of the counseling department, such as the effectiveness of core curriculum lessons, small group curriculum, and yearly program goals. In a community like Ferguson’s, the Advisory Council is vital to the constant growth and evolution of the school counseling program as is the ability to meet face to face to discuss the counseling department program.
The Advisory Council is instrumental in assisting the professional school counselors with ideas as we continue to manage the responsibility of the state required school improvement and accountability tool, College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). We will need to rely on our community based members as we teach our career clusters. The advisory council is also charged with giving suggestions and input on important counseling department programs such as No Place for Hate and PBIS. One such suggestion came from a 5th Grade teacher about addressing Cyberbullying, therefore a parent workshop has been planned for Fall 2017.


7. Calendars:

Attached Files:Narrative:
The Ferguson Elementary counseling department uses several different types of calendars to help focus our activities on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. All of the calendars are essential tools used to ensure a comprehensive counseling model was developed and delivered and meets the required Gwinnett County Standards and Competencies and ASCA mindsets and behaviors. Feedback from the leadership team, administration, the counseling advisory council, faculty, and parents was incorporated into the annual calendar which was developed during the pre-planning week in August. School wide data such as attendance and discipline data was used to help guide placement of different core curriculum lessons. Counseling activities such as core curriculum lessons, small group counseling, local school programs (ie: Red Ribbon Week, “No Place for Hate” Activities, National School Counseling Week Activities, Great Days of Service, Dream Maker Mentoring) and fair share activities are then listed on the annual calendar. Events such as school leadership team meetings, monthly counselor chats with our principal, weekly meetings with our school social worker were added at the request of our administrative team. To ensure all competencies and mindsets and behaviors are addressed core curriculum lessons or small groups are given priority when annual, monthly, and weekly calendars are developed.
The annual calendar was an essential tool in guiding the counseling department’s activities during the school year, it was published on the counseling department’s website and shared with our administration, advisory council, faculty via email and during faculty meetings. Included on the annual calendar are all core curriculum lessons taught during the school year. For example, the 2016-2017 annual calendar show the core curriculum lesson taught in September focused on attendance which supported program goal number one. You will notice all calendar entries that pertain to program goal one are colored red. Entries for program goal two are blue and green for program goal three. Throughout the school year, professional school counselors meet with administration to review school wide situations, counseling duties and responsibilities as well as any necessary adjustments to the annual calendar. Both professional school counselors met on a monthly basis with the school principal, to review allocation of time to ensure time spend on non-counseling related duties align with the time listed in the annual agreement.
Monthly calendars were developed and published by the Ferguson Elementary counseling department at the beginning of each month. The monthly calendar highlights the core curriculum lessons that were taught during that month and gave a daily schedule of which classroom the core curriculum lesson was taught. The monthly calendar also included any small group counseling services offered during the month by listing the day and time the small group met. During fall semester, Ms. Danish was on the special’s rotation so her monthly calendar was not as flexible as Ms. Ferguson due to her having to teach specials at the same time each day. You will notice on Ms Danish’s fall calendar that she taught career clusters core curriculum lesson which is a lesson mandated by the State of Georgia Board of Education. Each professional school counselor published their monthly calendar via email to the grade levels they serve and by posting the calendar on their office door. Of course, due to crises that arose, the monthly calendar is often updated throughout the month to reflect changes in the counselor’s schedule. Classroom teachers were understanding and flexible knowing that there were times when core curriculum lessons or small group sessions had to be rescheduled due to crisis.
Weekly calendars provide the faculty and staff a quick reference of the professional school counselor’s daily activities. The weekly calendar lists core curriculum lessons that were taught, meetings, fair share duties, and student, teacher, or parent appointments. For example, Ms. Ferguson’s fall calendar shows her teaching core curriculum lesson in fourth grade on conflict resolution entitled “Wheel of Solution” . The weekly calendar is posted alongside the monthly calendar on each counselor’s office door. The weekly calendar was often used by faculty and staff to locate the counselor during the school day. The counseling department’s annual, monthly, and weekly calendars are great advocacy tools for our counseling program and help us publicizes the programs and activities we offer. While each counselor strives to keep all appointments, core curriculum lessons, small group sessions, and activities, it was sometimes necessary to reschedule events even on a weekly basis due to any crises that needed immediate attention because the safety and security of our students always takes priority.

8. School Counseling Core Curriculum Action Plan and Lessons Plans:

Attached Files:
  • picture of core curriculum lesson 3 poster View | Download
  • picture of core curriculum lesson 3 game board View | Download
  • picture of core curriculum lesson 2 materials View | Download
  • attendance big bee core curriculum lesson 1 View | Download
  • attendance bee questions 3 core curriculum lesson 1 View | Download
  • attendance bee questions 2 core curriculum lesson 1 View | Download
  • attendance bee questions 1 core curriculum lesson 1 View | Download
  • pre post test core curriculum lesson 3 View | Download
  • pre post test core curriculum lesson 2 View | Download
  • pre and post test core curriculum lesson 1 View | Download
  • core curriculum action plan 2016-2017 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • core curriculum lesson plan 3 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • core curriculum lesson plan 2 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • core curriculum lesson plan 1 ferguson elementary View | Download
Narrative:
Ferguson Elementary School serves 925 students with two full time professional school counselors. Ms. Ferguson serves third, fourth, and fifth grades and Ms. Danish serves kindergarten, first, and second grades. Both Ms. Ferguson and Ms. Danish serve the special education population by dividing up the classes. Each counselor, has a case load of approximately 462 students. The core curriculum action plan supports our school wide focus of being responsible, respectful, role models along with the ASCA mindsets and behaviors, our local school improvement plan(LSIP) , state mandates, and the counseling competencies and standards set forth by the Gwinnett County Public School’s(GCPS) Board of Education through the cross walking tool. Careful attention is noted to make sure each core curriculum lesson falls under one of the ASCA domains and is developmentally appropriate. During our pre-planning week, a yearly core curriculum action plan is developed taking into account school wide data along with input from teachers and administrators. The core curriculum yearly action plan is approved by our principal and advisory council.
Ms. Ferguson delivered core curriculum lessons to grades 3-5 on a three-week rotation while working in collaboration with classroom teachers to ensure each student has access to all core curriculum lessons. These lessons are taught during each grade levels Language Art classes. Special education students receive core curriculum lessons through either inclusion with grade level classes or by having lessons delivered in their self-contained classes. Ms. Danish was on the special rotation for the first 18 weeks of the school year therefore she delivered core curriculum lessons to K-2 grade via special rotation. To evaluate the core curriculum lessons, the counseling department uses perception data such as pre and post-tests, teacher surveys, student reflection journals, and informal observations. Outcome data such as attendance data, discipline data, and academic data such as grades, standardized test scores, district tests scores, and classroom tests are used. Process data such as number of students receiving each lesson, length of each lessons and how and when each lesson is delivered helps us ensure all students receive developmentally appropriate lessons. Differentiated assessments allow the counseling department to evaluate the effectiveness of each lesson and note if all students have mastered the competencies and indicators. Assessments are also used to revise and edit our core curriculum lessons.
Core curriculum lessons that address on of our three programs goals are colored coded on the action plan. The personal safety lessons taught are mandated by Gwinnett County Board of Education and the career lessons taught are mandated by the state of Georgia via the BRIDGE Act House Bill 400 that was passed on May 20, 2010. All other core curriculum lessons are listed according to the ASCA domain the lesson covers. Analysis of school wide attendance data by the leadership team, administrators and counseling department revealed an attendance concern especially among our Hispanic population. Therefore, the Ferguson Elementary counseling department decided to teach core curriculum lessons focusing on attendance during the month of September. Program goal number one focuses on attendance. A review of our Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) behavioral data along with our discipline data by the PBIS committee, leadership team, administrators, and the counseling department, revealed high number of discipline referrals especially among our African American population. Teachers felt students lack strategies and skills to resolve peer conflict. The counseling team decided to focus on conflict resolution strategies during core curriculum lessons taught in October. This is reflected in program goal number two. While reviewing school wide academic data, it came to the attention of the professional school counselors that a large number of 4th and 5th grade students failed Math. After talking with 4th and 5th teachers and administration a core curriculum lessons addressing study skills, test taking skills, and importance of completing classwork and homework were developed and taught. This is reflected in program goal number three along which supports the school’s LSPI goal and Ferguson Elementary extra school wide math instructional block time called CQI .
The Ferguson Elementary counseling departments wanted to increase students’ knowledge about why school attendance is important, how to solve conflicts, how to study effectively, complete homework, classwork, using test taking strategies, and become better math student. All of these topics are addressed with core curriculum lesson throughout the school year as reflected on the core curriculum action plan. All the core curriculum lessons taught support the mission, vision, and philosophies of Ferguson Elementary Counseling Department along with the needs of our student population.

9. School Counseling Core Curriculum: Results Report:
Ferguson Elementary professional school counselors evaluated data and consulted with teachers and administrators to develop a schedule to deliver core curriculum lessons. To ensure all counseling standards and competencies were addressed the Gwinnett County Public Schools cross-walking tool and ASCA student planning program tool was used. All core curriculum lessons addressed one of the three ASCA domains: Personal/Social, Career, and Academic Development. Ms. Ferguson taught core curriculum lessons for grades 3rd-5th on a three-week rotation. Ms. Danish taught core curriculum lessons for grades K-2nd through the specials rotation.
School wide data showed a need to address attendance and discipline with core curriculum lessons, therefore attendance was addressed in September and conflict resolution strategies were addressed in October. The third grade attendance lesson and the fourth and fifth grade conflict resolution lessons were highlighted in component 8 of this application. All three of the lessons addressed one of our three program goals.
The third grade core curriculum lesson, taught to 139 students during Language Arts, addressed attendance and was titled "Bee At School Every Day". This lesson taught students why it was important to be at school every day on time, when it is appropriate to miss school, and how missing school impacts your grades. Students were given a pre and post-test. Students also participated in a discussion on attendance and worked in small groups to answer questions. The pre and post-test data collected showed the lesson increased student awareness on why attendance matters. Students showed gains on four of five questions. The highest gain was question two with 91% of students answering the question correctly, which was a 19% increase over the pre-test. Question one showed a decrease of 17% in the number of students answering the question correctly when compared to the pre-test. Outcome data showed an increase in the number of Hispanic students with 15 or more absences from 32 to 59 students. Since we did not meet our attendance goal, our school social worker will be in the building once a week to meet with parents and students as well as to run small groups focused on attendance. We are going to focus more attention on parent education regarding acceptable reasons for children to miss school and the importance of communicating these reasons in writing upon the student's return to school.
Conflict resolution core curriculum lessons were taught to 145 fourth graders and 130 fifth graders during their Language Arts time. The fourth grade lesson was "Wheel of Solutions". Students were taught different strategies for solving a conflict with peers and worked in pairs to practice using the different strategies. Students were given a pre and post-test to assess their increased knowledge on conflict resolutions strategies that were taught. Students showed gains on all four questions of the pre and post-test. The greatest gain was on question 1 with 65% answering correctly, an increase of 18% over the pre-test. The fifth grade lesson was entitled "Simon's Hook". The book "Simon's Hook" was read and the different conflict resolution strategies presented in the book were taught to students. Students used the new conflict resolution strategies to play a game. A pre and post-test was given to assess increased knowledge of conflict resolution strategies. The largest gain was on question 6 with 63% of students answering the question correctly, which was an increase of 28%. The outcome discipline data showed African American students were able to apply their increased knowledge on how to address conflict through their actions as we decreased the number of African American students who received referrals from 34 to 23 students. 65% of the African American students received discipline referrals during the 2015-2016 school year. While we reduced the gap in the number of African American students with discipline referrals by 26%, there is still a gap. 40% of the referrals written in 2016-2017 were to African American students, but they make up only 31% of our student population. There will be an increased focus on serving students who received discipline referrals in small group counseling during the 2017-2018 school year. Students who receive 2 or more discipline referrals will participate in our daily check-in program. Next year the K-2nd counselor will be on the specials rotation for nine weeks and then off for nine weeks. This will allow her to start small groups in October vs February. We hope this will allow us to continue to decrease the number of African American students who receive discipline referrals.

School Counseling Core Curriculum Results Report

Lesson #1
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Academic Achievement | Dropout Prevention | Attendance |
Grade Level Lesson Topic ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s)
3rd grade Attendance –Bee at school every day. B-SMS-8, B-SMS-10, M:3
Start/End Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data) Implications
September 2-September 30 139 enrolled 3rd graders 1. 70 % of the students answered question 1 correctly on the post-test and 70% of the students answered the question correctly on the pre-test for no gain.
2. 91% of the students answered question 2 correctly on the post-test compared with 73% on the pre-test which was increase of 18%.
3. 76% of the students answered question3 correctly on the post-test and compared with 66% on the pre-test which was increase of 10%.
4 .60% of the students answered question4 correctly on the post-test compared with 52 % on the pre-test which was increase of 8 %.
5. 74% of the students answered question5 correctly on the post-test compared to 69 % of on the pre-test which was increase of 5%.
Unfortunately, our attendance goal (goal #1) was not met during 2016-2017 school year, as the number of Hispanic students who missed 15 or more days of school rose to 59 students as compared to 32 students during 2015-2016 school year which was 84% increase. Therefore, we did not decrease the number of Hispanic students who missed 15 or more days of during the 2016-2017 school year by 10 %. After reviewing our pre and post-test results, it is evident that students’ understanding of the majority of the key concepts regarding attendance and absences increased. Because our attendance rates did not improve we are going to focus on attendance as a program goal for the 2017-18 school year. We plan to continue our school-wide attendance incentive programs as well as interventions with individual students. Additionally, our school social worker will be in the building one day each week and will meet with parents and students as well as run small groups focused on attendance.
We are going to focus more on parent education regarding acceptable reasons for children to miss school and the importance of communicating these reasons in writing upon the student’s return to school. This increased parent communication will take place several ways such as parent workshop held by our school social worker, our website, in a letter that will go home to all students, at APTT (Academic , Parent, Teacher Teams, and through individual parent conferences. Our school social worker will also present workshop to our faculty and staff on attendance.

Attached Files:
  • outcome data lesson 1 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • perception data lesson 1 ferguson elementary View | Download
Lesson #2
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Anger Management | Behavioral Issues | Bullying | Conflict Resolution |
Grade Level Lesson Topic ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s)
5th Grade Conflict Resolution “Simon’s Hook” B:SS-2, B:SS-6, B:SS-9, B:SS-9, BS:SMS:7, M:1
Start/End Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data) Implications
October 1-October 31 130 enrolled 5th graders 1.87% of the students answered question1 correctly on the post-test compared to 76% on the pre-test which showed gain of 11%.
2. 51% of the students answered question 2 correctly on the post-test compared with 37% on the pretest which showed gain of 14 %.
3. 84% of the students answered question 3 correctly on the post-test compared with 81% on pre-test which showed gain of 3%.
4., 83% of the students answered question 4 correctly on the post-test compared with 74 % on the pre-test for an increase of 9 %. 5.81% of the students answered question5 correctly on the post-test compared to 64% of on the pre-test which was increase of 17%. 6. 63% of the students answered 6 question correctly on the post-test compared with 35% on the pre- test which showed decrease of 28%.
Our behavior goal (goal #2) was achieved during the 2016-2017 school year as 23 African American students received discipline referral compared with 34 African American students who received discipline referrals during the 2015-2016 school year. That was a decrease of 11 students or a decrease of 32%. Students made gains on all 4 questions of the pre-posttest therefore we feel the questions we asked valid and reliable and could be used again if this lesson were taught. While we reduced the gap in the number of African American students who received discipline referral by 32% there is still a gap. 40% of the referrals written in the 2016-2017 were to African American students but they make up only 31% of our student population therefore there is still work to be done. Next year, the K-2nd grade counselor will be on the special rotation for nine weeks and then off for nine weeks. This will allow her to start small groups in October vs February. Both counselors, we make sure to server students who received a discipline referral during the 2016-2017 school year in small group. We will also be adding a daily check in check with will all students who received 2 or more discipline referrals during the 2016-2017 school year. These students will also have a daily behavior chart with goals that are tied to their discipline referrals.

Attached Files:
  • outcome data lesson plan 2 and 3 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • perception data for lesson plan 2 ferguson elementary View | Download
Lesson #3
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Anger Management | Behavioral Issues | Bullying | Conflict Resolution |
Grade Level Lesson Topic ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s)
4th grade Conflict Resolution” Wheel of Solutions B-SS.2, B-SS.6, B-SS.8, B-SS.9, BS:SMS:7, M:1
Start/End Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data) Implications
October 1-October 31st 145 enrolled 4th Graders 1. 65% of the students answered question1 correctly on the post-test compared to 47% on the pre-test which showed gain of 18%.
2. 45% of the students answered question 2 correctly on the post-test compared with 42% on the pretest which showed gain of 3 %. 3. 64% of the students answered question 3correctly on the post-test compared with 44% on pre-test which showed gain of 20%.
4 .81% of the students answered question 4correctly on the post-test compared with 68 % on the pre-test for an increase of 13 %.
Our behavior goal (goal #2) was achieved during the 2016-2017 school year as 23 African American students received discipline referral compared with 34 African American students who received discipline referrals during the 2015-2016 school year. That was a decrease of 11 students or a decrease of 32%. Students made gains on all 4 questions of the pre-posttest therefore we feel the questions we asked were valid and reliable and could be used again if this lesson were taught. During 2015-2016 school year 34 out of 52 African American Students received discipline referral which was 66 %. While we reduced the gap in the number of African American students who received discipline referral by 26%, there is still a gap. 40% of the referrals written in the 2016-2017 were to African American students but they make up only 31% of our student population therefore there is still work to be done. Next year, the K-2nd grade counselor will be on the special rotation for nine weeks and then off for nine weeks. This will allow her to start small groups in October vs February. Both counselors, we make sure to server students who received a discipline referral during the 2016-2017 school year in small group. We will also be adding a daily check in –check out check with all students who received 2 or more discipline referrals during the 2016-2017 school year.
Students made gains on all 4 questions of the pre-posttest therefore we feel the questions we asked valid and reliable and could be used again if this lesson were taught. While we reduced the gap in the number of African American students who received discipline referral by 32% there is still a gap. 40% of the referrals written in the 2016-2017 were to African American students but they make up only 31% of our student population therefore there is still work to be done. Next year, the K-2nd grade counselor will be on the special rotation for nine weeks and then off for nine weeks. This will allow her to start small groups in October vs February. Both counselors, we make sure to server students who received a discipline referral during the 2016-2017 school year in small group. We will also be adding a daily check in check with will all students who received 2 or more discipline referrals during the 2016-2017 school year. These students will also have a daily behavior chart with goals that are tied to their discipline referrals.

Attached Files:
  • outcome data lesson plan 2 and 3 ferguson elementary View | Download
  • perception data lesson plan 3 ferguson elementary View | Download
Are the 3 lessons submitted part of the same unit? No

10. Small-Group Responsive Services:
Small group counseling is often utilized to address the needs of students who require specific skill building in a number of areas. Throughout the year, school data is reviewed to better understand where areas for growth exist. Additionally, needs assessments are considered along with teacher/parent consultations when small groups are created for our students.

Students who will benefit from small group counseling are referred by teachers, parents, a review of data, and the Response to Intervention process. The screening process takes into consideration areas of concern, students’ personalities when grouping, and grade level. A permission form is sent home with the students. Students must return their permission forms signed by a parent or guardian in order to participate in a small group. Most groups hold between 6 to 10 sessions depending on the needs of the students. Groups are held during both the fall and spring semesters for third through fifth grade and were run by Ms. Ferguson. Ms. Danish began running small groups in the spring semester due to being a part of the Specials rotation in the fall semester. The counseling team has advocated to adjust the schedule for specials (from one full semester, to half of each semester) in order to allow for small groups to be run in both the fall and spring for kindergarten, first, and second grade. Ms. Ferguson runs groups 3rd through 5th grade and Ms. Danish runs groups for kindergarten through second grades because we divided our case load by grade level.

At the beginning of the year, the Ferguson Elementary School Counseling team reviewed the previous year’s data and developed program goals in the areas of attendance, behavior, and academics. We felt that our academic goal and our behavior goal would benefit from small group intervention, whereas our attendance goal would be addressed through other programs and interventions.

We ran three small groups to help achieve our academic goal, improving math scores by one letter grade for 4th and 5th grade students who earned a D or U in the fall semester. While 4th and 5th grade are served by Ms. Ferguson, Ms. Danish ran one of the two 5th grade groups due to the amount of 5th grade students who earned a D or U in math. The lessons addressed study spaces, study skills, learning styles, test taking strategies, and stress management techniques. During the group process, 8 students moved, leaving our total at 22 students. Upon completion of the group, the pre and post test scores indicated 11 students showed improvement in study skills knowledge, 7 students stayed the same, and the rest had lower scores on the post test. The outcome data, students’ math grades in the Spring semester, showed only 9 students improved their yearly average math grade by one letter grade, which did not meet our goal of all students served in group improving their yearly average by at least one letter grade. Because of this, our group lessons and focus may need to be adjusted to better suit the needs of our students and have a greater impact on their math grades. We also will need to analyze other factors that could impact math scores and work with both teachers and parents to support student study skills.

We ran a total of 16 small groups based on behavior data, some of which worked towards achieving our goal of decreasing the number of African American boys with referrals. The students that were selected for these groups were chosen based on the number of behavior referrals they have received or by teacher referral for behavior. Ms. Danish ran nine groups that addressed behavior and Ms. Ferguson ran seven groups that addressed behavior. We saw an increase in behavior referrals for the school year. As mentioned, the counselors plan to advocate to adjust the specials rotation so that small groups can be conducted in the Fall to help serve as a preventative measure in the area of behavior.
In other group topics, Ms. Danish ran one second grade study skills group based on academic data and teacher referral and one self-confidence group based on teacher referral or referral from the RTI process. Ms. Ferguson ran 1 third grade study skills group based on academic data and teacher referral.

Attached Files:

Small-Group Results Report

Group Name: School Success (Group 1 and 2, 5th Grade); School Smarties (4th Grade)
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Academic Achievement | College Readiness | Group Counseling |
Goal: By May 24, 2017, the number of 4th, and 5th grade students who made a D or U semester average in Math will improve their math grade by at least one letter grade.
Target Group: 26 students in 4th and 5th grade with a D or U in math in the Fall Semester
Data Used to Identify Students: Fall Semester Report Cards
School Counselor(s) ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s) Outline of Group Sessions Delivered
Sherry Ferguson Lauren Danish M:6
B:LS:3
1. Introduction and Pre-Test
2. Study Space
3. Learning Styles
4. Study Skills
5. Study Skills Commercial Filming
6. Test-Taking Basketball
7. Destress Before the Test
8. Post-Test and Closing
Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Data from surveys used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance and/or behavior data collected) Implications
26 students in 4th and 5th Grades
Group 1: 8 5th graders
Group 2: 10 5th Graders
Group 3: 8 4th Gradres
Completion of the activity and/or worksheet at the end of each session;
Pre and Post-Test results (adapted from Roads to Success Curriculum)
Used End of year Math grades generated from the report cards
Only 13 students showed improvement in their overall Math grade for the year. Therefore, our goal of having 4th and 5th grade students who made a D or U semester average in Math will improve their math grade by one letter grade was not met.
We did not meet our goal of having 4th and 5th grade students who made a D or U semester average in Math will improve their math grade by one letter grade. Because of this, we will look at the lessons taught and evaluate the topics and focus of our group. More interaction with the teachers and parents may also be necessary to make sure that the students receive study skills support both at school and home. Other factors affecting the math grades will need to be analyzed as well to ensure

11. Closing-the-Gap Results Report:
Goal: By May 24, 2017, the number of Hispanic students (32) who accrued 15 or more absences will decrease by 10%.
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Academic Achievement | Dropout Prevention | Parent/Family Collaboration | Attendance |
Target Group: Hispanic Students who missed 15 or more days of school in the 2015-2016 school year.
Data Used to Identify Students: School wide attendance data and ABC Report from 2015-2016 school year.
School Counselor(s) ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s) Type of Activities to be Delivered in What Manner?
Sherry Ferguson, Lauren Danish M 3, M 6, B:LS:3 Individual Counseling
BASE Attendance Morning Check-in, delivered through individual student check-ins
SARC Meetings, delivered individually with parents
Semester Perfect Attendance Awards, school-wide opportunity, earned individually
Parent Phone Calls to discuss attendance, delivered individually
Excuse Note Reminders for Parents, teachers send home with individual students who did not return with an excuse note after absence
Counselor meetings with Social Worker, meet to discuss and review attendance data
Core Curriculum Attendance Lesson, delivered through classroom lesson
Best Class Attendance Monthly Trophy, earned by a whole class in each grade level (PK-5th)
Attendance Flyer, delivered to all parents in Fall and Spring Semesters
Parent Attendance Workshop, offered to all parents and delivered by the Social Worker
County Generated Attendance Notifications at 5, 7 and 10 unexcused absences
Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Data from surveys used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance and/or behavior data collected) Implications
Identified Target Group: Hipanic students who missed 15 or more days of school in the 2015-2016 school year. Pre and Post Test for upper grade students, includes target group
Completion of Attendance Activity and Worksheet for lower grade students, includes target group
Morning Check-ins for target group
SARC Meetings for students who have 10 unexcused absences, may include target group
Parent Provided Reasons for Absences, may include target group
Used SIS generated attendance reports to see if attendance improved
Used 15-16 attendance data as a baseline for improvement
SIS generated attendance reports showed an 84% increase in absences for Hispanic students, from 32 to 59 students.
Of the 21 students in the targeted group who remained at Ferguson Elementary through the 2016-2017 school year, 15 showed a decrease in absences. This was a decrease of 71%. While the goal was met for our target group, the gap was not closed during the 2016-2017 school year.
We did not meet our Closing-The-Gap goal, as the total number of Hispanic students with 15 or more absences increased in 2016-2017. The gap did decrease from 73% to 62% due to an increase in overall students with 15 or more absences. The targeted group of students showed a great decrease, from 21 to 6 students having 15 or more absences. Looking towards next year, we plan to have our social worker in our school building once a week to hold small groups with students and meet with parents and students regarding attendance. We also plan to implement more parent education strategies surrounding reasons to miss school. This will include the counselors presenting about attendance and reasons to miss school at APTT, a parent workshop put on by the school, as well as sending home flyers made with the help of our clinic worker explaining what symptoms of illness your child must be exhibiting in order to keep them home from school.

Attached Files:One of the long term goals included in the Ferguson Elementary Local School Plan of Improvement was Ferguson Elementary will meet or exceed the number of students predicted to be College and Career ready as measured by decreasing student discipline referrals, higher student attendance rates, and continuing growth of students receiving passing grades in content courses. In order to help support this goal, the professional school counselors analyzed the 2015-2016 data to see where to direct interventions. The attendance data revealed that students missing 15 or more days of school had a higher percentage of Hispanic students than our demographics would suggest. Because of this, the professional school counselors developed the program goal, “By May 24, 2017, the number of Hispanic students (32) who accrued 15 or more absences will decrease by 10%.”
Our main target group were the 32 Hispanic students who missed 15 or more days in the 2015-2016 school year. These students received interventions at multiple levels. The identified students participated in the BASE Attendance morning check-in intervention conducted by their grade level counselor. The students could earn rewards for attendance and learned that someone in the building was looking out for them and missed them when they were not at school. The identified students also received individual counseling services to identify ways in which to support their attendance.
School wide interventions were also in place to support our target group and our school as a whole. Individual semester perfect attendance awards and monthly attendance awards for the class in each grade level who had the best attendance for the month were awarded to make sure that students saw value of attendance and to reward the positive behavior of attending school. The school counselors also conducted a core curriculum attendance lesson to every class in order to discuss the importance of attendance and make sure that the students understood the rules surrounding attendance at Ferguson Elementary.
Parent interventions were conducted to make sure that attendance was being addressed from all angles. In elementary school, parents have a large role in attendance for our young students, so it is best practice to direct interventions to them. Attendance flyers were sent home at the beginning of the school year to ensure that parents knew the rules surrounding attendance at Ferguson Elementary and what to do if their child was absent. A second flyer was sent home in the Spring semester as the counselors noticed that attendance was not on track for improvement. Excuse note reminders for parents were sent home with individual students who did not return to school with an excuse after an absence in order to help the professional school counselors identify reasons why students may be missing school. Parents were called by the school counselors to discuss attendance when attendance became a concern to help parents understand when a child can remain home and the importance of attending school. Parents also received county generated attendance notifications when their child had 5, 7 or 10 unexcused absences. Lastly, parents were also invited to participate in a parent workshop on the topic of attendance with our school social worker during the month of September, Attendance Awareness month.
The professional school counselors also worked closely with the school social worker to address absence concerns. Weekly meetings were held to discuss students with absence concerns and monitor their progress. For students with 10 or more unexcused absences, Student Attendance Review Committee (SARC) meetings were held that included the parent, school counselor, teacher, and social worker to discuss the impact of the students’ absences on their academics. Plans were developed as a committee to ensure attendance improvement.
Unfortunately, we did not meet our Closing-The-Gap goal, as the total number of Hispanic students with 15 or more absences increased. The targeted group of students showed a great decrease, from 21 to 6 students having 15 or more absences. Looking towards next year, we plan to have our social worker in our school building once a week to hold small groups with students and meet with parents and students regarding attendance. We also plan to implement more parent education strategies surrounding reasons to miss school. This will include the counselors presenting about attendance and reasons to miss school at parent nights, a parent workshop put on by the school, as well as sending home flyers made with the help of our clinic worker explaining what symptoms of illness your child must be exhibiting in order to keep them home from school.

12. Program Evaluation Reflection:When Ferguson Elementary opened in 2010, the journey began to create an ASCA national model program, which is comprehensive in nature, data driven and developmentally appropriate, by focusing on leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and systemic change for all students. With 21C3, an initiative started by Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Advisement and Counseling Department serving as a guide, efforts were made to ensure all standards and competencies were aligned with the ASCA national model, Gwinnett County Public School’s "Competencies and Indicators Cross Walking Tool", and state and local initiatives. Careful attention was paid to ensure the personal/social, career, and academic needs of all students were met in order to remove barriers to learning so students can be successful. Our goal is to be leaders who work collaboratively with administration, faculty and staff, as well as parents and community members to foster a learning environment where the professional school counselors serve as advocates for the needs of our ever changing and diverse population.

Leadership:
Leadership skills are an important quality for a professional school counselor to possess. The Ferguson Elementary counselors are expected to exhibit leadership qualities and serve in leadership roles at both the school and district level. At the school level, both counselors are members of the Ferguson Elementary collaborative learning leadership team. Ms. Ferguson is one of the co-coaches of the PBIS (Positive Behavior, Intervention and Support) program, as well co-sponsor for principal’s "Elite Club", and PBIS kids club. In the fall of 2017, Ms. Ferguson accompanied the principal’s "Elite Club" to the Georgia State Capital to meet with State Senator David Shafer and to Georgia Gwinnett College. Ms. Danish is also a member of the PBIS committee. Ms. Ferguson presented at the state PBIS conference held in Gwinnett County in November. Throughout the school year, the counseling department presented faculty workshops on a variety of topics including mandated reporter training, PBIS, classroom management strategies, and attendance.
One of our counselors, along with her family, founded the Dartha B. Ferguson Foundation. The foundation contributes to the needs of our students by funding a "Care Team" and PBIS programs, purchasing school supplies, library books, and technology items as well as running a teacher grant program. Ferguson Elementary is the only elementary school in Gwinnett County to have a foundation. Serving as board president, Ms. Ferguson meets with the foundation monthly to share counseling program updates and to discuss how the foundation can best support and address the needs of the students. Ferguson Elementary counselors also serve in leadership roles at the district level. Ms. Danish serves on the Elementary Peer Leadership Planning Committee. At a community level, Ms. Ferguson is a member of Gwinnett County’s Comprehensive Transportation Planning Committee and State Senator David Shafer’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee, while also serving as the President of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association.

Advocacy:
Advocacy is a key component of a comprehensive school counseling program. Professional school counselors serve as advocates for students, faculty, and staff in a variety of ways. We meet twice a year (November and May) with our advisory council, consisting of teachers, parents, business partners, community members, administration, and our school board members. Our mission, vision and philosophy statements, department goals, yearly data, and counseling department programs are shared at this meeting. We value our members’ ideas and use their input to expand and develop new programs to benefit Ferguson students. Our advisory council provided input for the “No Place for Hate” projects and offered ideas for helping to create a bully-free environment at Ferguson Elementary. Both counselors meet with the principal on a monthly basis to ensure the needs of students and staff are being met. Ms. Ferguson and Ms. Danish also participate in RTI (Response to Intervention) student meetings. This enables the counselors to help identify areas of concern for students who are below grade level and develop a list of academic, behavior, and attendance strategies to assist the student. Weekly meetings with the school social worker provide the Ferguson Elementary counselors with the opportunity to share attendance concerns and address students’ attendance needs.
We have developed and continue to update our website which includes our core curriculum topics and detailed information about the counseling programs we offer. While we are constantly advocating for our profession, we have an extra focus during National School Counseling Week, when we provide special treats and information about school counseling for our staff members.

Collaboration:
Collaboration with administration, faculty, staff, students, parents, and community members is an important part of being a professional school counselor and another key component of a comprehensive school counseling program. Both Ms. Danish and Ms. Ferguson collaborate with the administration by attending monthly meetings with the principal. In these meetings, students’ needs, concerns, and problems are addressed. Academic, discipline, and attendance data, along with updates on counseling programs and program goals, are shared. Counselors collaborate with teachers in a variety of ways. First, we meet with individual teachers to identify student needs and to develop a plan to address those needs. We also attend monthly grade level meetings to share data and address any teacher concerns. Counselors collaborate with parents by meeting either in person or by phone to ensure the needs of their student are being addressed in a timely manner. We collaborate directly with students through individual counseling or group counselling sessions. Ferguson counselors collaborate with community members through meetings with the counseling advisory council and the Ferguson foundation board meetings to identify school wide needs and develop a partnership to address those needs. We also collaborate with the school social worker, county nurse, and school psychologist to address the needs of certain students that arise during the school year.

Systemic Change:
The goal of a comprehensive, data driven, developmentally appropriate school counseling program should be to create systemic change. As a fairly new school, operating in our seventh year, all of our initiatives, advocacy, leadership, and collaborations are done in an effort to create long-term, systemic change. As change agents, the counseling department plays an integral role in the overall academic and personal/social growth of our students. By following the ASCA national model, our constant analysis of data helps us to identify areas of growth allowing us to target groups of students to ensure their success and sense of belonging. One example of the counseling department’s efforts towards school wide systemic change can be seen with the implication of the PBIS program. The counseling department spearheaded the efforts to bring PBIS to Ferguson Elementary when they noticed an increasing number of discipline referrals when analyzing school wide discipline data. PBIS was implemented during the 2012-2013 school year. Over the five years that followed, the number of discipline referrals went from 216 to 127, which was a reduction of 89 referrals, or 41%. PBIS data also helped us identify pockets of students to target that needed additional training via a small group in order for them to increase their individual success in the area of behavior and academics. PBIS not only helped to reduce the number of discipline referrals but also helped to improve the school climate and provide teachers with more time for teaching and learning. Another example of systemic change effected by the counseling department can be seen in the area of attendance. The counseling department along with leadership team identified an increasing number of students, especially among our Hispanic population, who missed 15 more days of school. After providing numerous interventions such as daily check in with counselors, meetings with social workers, and core curriculum lessons on attendance, the number of students who missed 15 or more days of school increased from 32 to 59, or 84%. While we may have changed factors in our school, there is still work to be done on a larger scale. We plan to incorporate our school social worker by having her in the building once a week to run small groups and meetings with families. Utilizing data also allows us to recognize school wide trends which need to be addressed, identify areas to celebrate, and create ways to continue success.
With the implementation of the ASCA national model, our role as professional school counselors is much clearer to our administrators, teachers, students and parents. We now have stakeholders coming to us asking when we are going to run a particular group because they have a much better understanding of the services we provide. The professional school counselors work diligently to serve the academic, personal/social, and career needs of our students on a daily basis. We do this through our collaborations with stakeholders, leadership in school and the community, as well as advocating for students and programs with the end goal to be long term systemic change. Many thanks to our Principal, Dr. Angelique Mitchell, and administrators, who are always open to listen and show great support for the counseling program. On behalf of all of the stakeholders at Ferguson Elementary, with pride, we humbly submit this RAMP application for your consideration.

Attached Files:
Signature Page: